The Copper Scroll
by Joel C. Rosenberg
Copper Scroll Project Website
How many of you have heard of the Copper Scroll? A scroll quite literally made of copper that was discovered in the Qumran caves in Israel in 1948 at the same time the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. On this scroll is a list of treasure items that so far, have never been found.
This novel is the fourth in a series of Books called the LAST JIHAD. Imagine. This is a christian author writing about the Last Jihad. The previous book (the 3rd book) The Ezekiel Option involved the end of the world. Apparently a number of middle eastern countries were destroyed.
Anyway in the Copper Scroll, a team of american experts are in Israel looking for the treasure of the Copper scroll. These experts are led by Erin McCoy Bennett (former CIA operative) and her new husband John Bennett. They were both involved in the previous story - The Ezekiel Option.
The beginning is rather slow. It takes 12 chapters to get all the main players either set in place, or killed so that their subsequent actions can affect the story.
Once the Bennets have been tracked down on their honeymoon, interrupted and sent to Israel, they begin the search for the treasure. They have to decode the list on the War scroll. Another scroll that was found some time after the Copper Scroll, but the war scroll seems to have clues on how to find the items listed on the Copper Scroll. This Copper scroll list consists of locations and items and amounts. Remember the Copper Scroll is real. This story is NOT.
The list has items such as...
Item 1: In the fortress which is in the Vale of Achor, forty cubits under the steps entering to the east: a money chest and its contents, of a weight of seventeen talents.
Item 2: In the sepulchral monument, in the third course of stones: 100 bars of gold
Item Three: In the Great Cistern which is in the Court of Peristyle, in the spout in its floor, concealed in a hole in front of the upper opening: nine hundred talents.
Item Seven: In the cavity of the Old House of Tribute, in the Chain Platform: sixty-five bars of gold.
Item 12: In the court of [unreadable], nine cubits under the southern corner: gold and silver vessels for tithe, sprinkling basins, cups, sacrificial bowls, libations vessels; in all, six hundred and nine.
Item 14: In the pit which is to the north of Esplanade tithe vessels and garments. Its entrance is under the western corner.
Item 32: In the cave that is next to [unreadable] belonging to the House of Hakkoz, dig six cubits. There are six bars of gold.
Item 37: In the stubble field of the Shaveh, facing southwest, in an underground passage looking north, buried at twenty-four cubits: 67 talents.
Item 64: In a pit adjoining on the north, in a hole opening northward, and buried at its mouth: a copy of this document, with an explanation and their measurements, and an inventory of each and every thing.
...and so on and so forth.
This list was translated and released by John Marcus Allegro in 1960
This novel did not feel realistic, although the story was fun. By that I mean that there were no Palestinians involved. Those Arabs who were involved were mostly Iraqis. Those Jews who were involved, drove on roads that were jewish only and really there was no interaction with any palestinians at all. Even the obligatory traitor was not an Arab but an Indian. It is almost as if the Palestinians did not exist.
One last thing - there was a lot of talk about the christians - which is why I think this book was written in the unrealistic way that it is. Mind you this book is set in the "last days" that christianity are desperately searching for.
Now if christians would understand that they are not supposed to be bringing about the end of the world. Only Jesus can do that, (as per the bible) and if jesus (god) chooses to not do that - well then thats his decision. The christians should not be trying to interpret what they think god wants them to do.
As we watch those Christians doing what they can to bring about the last days, do so because they desperately want to know that their faith in god is real and not a lie, not a delusion. The longer god stays away and does nothing, the more proof there is, that god either does not exist or chooses to not involve himself in the pettiness of humanity.